Iquitos in Peru is a beguiling place. For those traveling in Peru and looking to explore the wild rainforests of the Peruvian Amazon, Iquitos is the gateway to adventure. As a luxury travel agent, the team at Aracari know how to make a Peru vacation to the Amazon one that is both enriching and luxurious. From the best time to go to the Peruvian Amazon, to where to stay in Iquitos – our expert Travel Designers will curate a holiday to Peru that ticks every box.
In order to do so, our team need to visit each destination firsthand. So, early last year, Bronwen Griffith – one of Aracari’s most experienced Peru Travel Designers, journeyed to Iquitos and the Amazon rainforest. Her mission? To experience an Aracari travel itinerary in the Peruvian Amazon, just as our guests would, to ensure it is extraordinary in every sense.
Here Bronwen reflects on her trip to Iquitos, and tells us why her tour of the Peruvian Amazon was an experience that will remain with her for a very long time…
Traveling to Iquitos, Peru
“Since I was very young, a trip to the Amazon is something I have always wanted to do. But despite traveling across most of Peru – and managing to get as far as the brow of the jungle – I’d never had the chance to fully immerse myself Peru’s Amazon rainforest.
The luxury Peru trip was organized by Aracari in collaboration with the Treehouse Lodge and the Delfin Luxury Cruise II.
My flight from Lima to Iquitos was effortless and punctual. At the airport I was greeted by a friendly Treehouse lodge representative. The drive to the port was about 90 kilometers (56 miles). Along the way my knowledgeable Peru guide told me all about the distances we would travel, the animals we were likely to see, and general information about the surrounding area.
The Peruvian Amazon covers 60% of the country and yet only about 5% of the population lives there. It is home to more species of plants and animals than any other terrestrial ecosystem on the planet. Its biodiversity is amazing; the Peruvian Amazon has more than 800 species of bird and nearly 300 species of mammal. I was very excited to see all this firsthand!”
Arriving at The Treehouse Lodge in the Peruvian Amazon
“The Treehouse Lodge is one of Aracari’s most recommended properties in this region, and it was immediately obvious to me why. At the lodge, I was assigned to Treehouse Three; the only tree house with a view of the Yarapa River. Sitting 39 feet (12 meters) above the ground, it really was a spectacular view. From my window I could see a member of the local community going to fish and was told I may even spot a few dolphins.
The lodge is built in a beautiful Oje tree, surrounded by lush jungle vegetation. The room was comfortably sized and very well-equipped with a king-size bed (with mosquito net) and beautifully arranged amenities. There’s no hot water but that’s to be expected from an authentic jungle experience.
For all activities I was led by a private guide. Usiel spoke perfect English and was so passionate about wildlife, his enthusiasm was contagious. We saw monkeys, many species of birds, dolphins, caimans, spiders and insects. The excursions are planned at varying times of day to maximize your chances of seeing different wildlife. Usiel lent me a pair of binoculars, but next time I’ll be sure to bring my own.
The stay at the Treehouse Lodge included 3 meals a day made from local produce by a young and talented chef. The food was delicious and always much appreciated after a long day exploring.”
Luxury Amazon River Cruise: Delfin Luxury Cruise II
“When my time at the Treehouse Lodge came to an end, I took a 90-minute boat journey to board the luxurious Delfin II cruise. Comfort takes priority on this ship; it is beautifully decorated and maintained, and the service was truly impeccable.
The Delfin II offers four spacious master suites at the front of the vessel. Each suite has 180-degree panoramic windows offering incredible views. Equipped with king-size beds and fine cotton sheets, boilers for hot showers, air conditioning, drinking water and personal reading lamps, Aracari guests will feel as though they are staying in a sumptuous hotel suite, rather than aboard a ship!
I took the four-day, three-night program, although I would have enjoyed staying at least an extra night – something to consider when booking your Amazon vacation with Aracari. Excursions are varied and optional, making the trip suitable for all ages. There’s plenty of opportunity to see wildlife on land by day and by night, safaris led by an expert Peru guide will take guests by skiff to see the nocturnal animals. Other activities available include swimming, diving, learning about medicinal plants and enjoying ultimate luxury with a massage onboard. I kept very busy but was sure to make time for relaxation!
The food was fantastic, with buffet breakfasts, hearty lunches and spectacular dinners included. The house wine and champagne flows at dinner, and the table is beautifully decorated, so it always felt like a real celebration.
This vacation to the Peruvian Amazon was a wonderfully unique experience and one Aracari guests will remember forever.”
Bronwen’s Top Tips for Traveling to the Peruvian Amazon
- When traveling to the Amazon Rainforest one expects to see exotic wildlife, but you must know where and when to go. This makes having an expert, experienced guide essential – and with Aracari, we connect our guests to some of the most knowledgeable local guides.
- Binoculars and a good camera are essentials for a trip to the Peruvian Amazon – I was able to borrow binoculars but coming prepared with your own equipment means that you’ll be able to get straight to the action!
- Aboard the luxury Amazon river cruise, clothes in neutral and soft colours made from cotton and other natural materials are recommended. You’ll also need a swimsuit, sun hat and jacket to shield from the wind. Waterproof ponchos are provided on board if it rains.
- In the Peruvian Amazon, the weather is warm, at an average of 33 degrees centigrade. The high-water season is from December to May, and low water season from June to November. The team at Aracari can advise on what this means for your Peru vacation, and how the season could impact the wildlife you’ll see.
- If you are looking for a family holiday to Peru, then the Peruvian rainforest is an ideal place to travel on a Peru family tour. In fact, some of the lodges Aracari partners with have wonderful family programs, such as Refugio Amazonas.
Right now, travel to Iquitos and the Peruvian Amazon is entirely possible. Both of the luxury travel experiences Bronwen visited – the Tree House Lodge and Delfin Cruises – are operating as they were pre-pandemic, with the addition of COVID-19 safety measures.